TAMPA — A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday granted in part Casey Anthony's request to dismiss a claim against her by Texas EquuSearch, the group that spent thousands of dollars looking for her daughter, but gave the nonprofit 21 days to file another claim.
Texas EquuSearch claims it wasted more than $100,000 searching for Caylee Marie Anthony in 2008, a debt, they say, Casey Anthony's bankruptcy shouldn't wipe clean.
EquuSearch was suing Anthony in state court before she declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year, effectively halting the lawsuit. The search group says she wasted its time and money with a fruitless search for 2-year-old Caylee, who Anthony knew was actually dead.
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But Anthony's bankruptcy attorney, David Schrader, said Texas EquuSearch leaders proceeded with searches knowing Anthony had been charged with lying to law enforcement and murder. Texas EquuSearch also relied on information from Anthony's parents.
Anthony was eventually acquitted of murder, but was convicted of four misdemeanors for lying to law enforcement. Two of those counts were reversed on appeal.
Appearing via telephone Tuesday, Texas EquuSearch attorney Peter Russin said the organization's leader did meet with Anthony and her parents.
During one meeting, Russin said, Anthony told Texas EquuSearch representatives Caylee was abducted and she believed was still alive.
Anthony never said Caylee was dead and drowned in the family pool, as criminal-defense attorney Jose Baez claimed in his opening remarks during the murder trial.
Anthony made false representations intended to deceive Texas EquuSearch, Russin said.
After hearing arguments, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May denied Anthony's motion to dismiss in part and granted it in part — giving Texas EquuSearch time to file an amended complaint against Anthony.
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